Reason #1: Meigs County neighbors are already suffering from pollution from four other coal plants
AMP-Ohio has proposed to build a new 1000 megawatt coal-fired power plant to be located in Letart Falls, Ohio on the Ohio River. This would be the fifth coal-fired power plant to be located within an 11.5 mile radius. In 2007 alone, the four existing coal-fired power plants released a combined 250,463,000 pounds of sulfur dioxide and 128,860,400 pounds of nitrogen oxide. Part of the historical difficulty in tracking the amount of air pollution from the existing four coal-fired power plants is that two of the plants are located in Ohio, and two in West Virginia. You can tell by looking at the charts that the Ohio EPA tracks different pollutants than West Virginia DEP.
Reason #2: Meigs County children are less likely to be covered by health insurance than those in any other Ohio county.
Children in Meigs county are less likely to be covered by health insurance than those in any other Ohio county, according to the most recent survey by the Ohio Department of Health. The State estimated that 18.6% of Meigs county children were uninsured; the state average is 9.8%. Among people of all ages, Meigs county's uninsured rate was 17.9%, second only to Adams county at 18.6%. The state average is 11.2%. Why would American Municipal Power want to build another coal plant in the same place, knowing how hard it will be for residents to cover the costs of the sickness that will result?
Reason #3: Meigs County is among the eight Ohio counties with the fewest primary care physicians per person
Meigs County is among the 8 Ohio counties with fewest primary care physicians per person, according to the most recent data from the Ohio Department of Health. The ratio of population to primary care physicians in Meigs county is 3,852. This is more than four times worse than the statewide ratio of 852. It puts Meigs county among the lowest in the state, along with Champaign, Harrison, Morgan, Morrow, Noble, Perry and Vinton counties.
Reason #4: Meigs County already has the second highest rate of death from cancer in Ohio
People living in Meigs county have an annual age adjusted death rate from cancer of 252.9 per 100,000 population, according to the most recent data from the Ohio Department of Health. That is the second highest rate of all Ohio counties, behind only Perry county, and 28% higher than the statewide rate.
Reason #5: Meigs County already has the second highest rate of death from heart disease in Ohio
People living in Meigs county have an annual age adjusted death rate from heart disease of 327.3 per 100,000 population, according to the most recent data from the Ohio Department of Health. That is the second highest rate of all Ohio counties, behind only Jefferson county, and 52% higher than the statewide rate.
Reason #6: Meigs County men already have the shortest life expectancy in Ohio
Men in Meigs county have a shorter life expectancy than those of any other county in Ohio, according to the most recently-available county-level data compiled in a 2006 federally-funded Harvard study. Life expectancy for males in Meigs county was 70.2 years, lower than in any other Ohio county. For the whole Meigs county population, male and female, life expectancy was 74.3 years, sixth worst in Ohio; only Adams, Jackson, Lawrence, Pike and Scioto counties were lower. Researchers calculated life expectancy by averaging deaths over 5 years, 1997 - 2001, to reduce sensitivity to small numbers.
Reason #7: Meigs County and surrounding counties are already plagued by asthma
People in Meigs and surrounding counties suffer from asthma more than those in any other region of the state, according to the most recent survey of adults who report currently having asthma. In the map above, Meigs county is on the Ohio River, in the middle of the red counties where asthma rates are highest. This data comes from the Ohio Risk Factor Surveillance System, Community Assessments Section, Ohio Department of Health, 2003. While self-reported asthma rates are typically lower than those reported by physicians, that is the case in all regions of the state, and what's important are the relative rates by region."
Reason #8: Meigs County already has the highest death rate for lung and bronchus cancer in Ohio
Meigs County has the highest death rate for lung and bronchus cancer in Ohio, according to the most recent data, 2001-2005, from the Chronic Disease and Behavioral Epidemiology Section and the Vital Statistics Program, Ohio Department of Health, 2008, as reported in 'Ohio Cancer Facts and Figures, 2008', American Cancer Society 2.89 MB pdf, p. 19, 21. Statistics are calculated as an average annual rate per 100,000, age-adjusted to the 2000 U.S. standard population. Meigs County's rate of 86.5 is far higher than the state average of 60.3, and the national average of 54.1. Among men, the Meigs County rate of 140.2 is far above the next highest county, Jackson, at 122.8, 70% higher than the state average of 82.1, and nearly double the national average of 72.0.
Reason #9: Meigs County has no hospitals
Given the substantial and increasing evidence of how coal plants make their neighbors sick (see, for example, Harvard School of Public Health study), one would expect the AMP officials to look for a county with superb medical care. Instead, however, they chose Meigs County, which has no hospitals at all. Meigs County is one of 9 Ohio counties without any hospitals. The others are Carroll, Monroe, Morgan, Noble, Perry, Preble, Putnam, and Vinton counties, according to the Ohio Department of Health list of hospitals. The Ohio counties with the most hospitals are Cuyahoga (19), Franklin (15), and Hamilton (12).
Reason #10: Meigs and the other river counties already suffer the state's highest death rates from power plant pollution
People in Meigs and other Ohio River counties already suffer a higher death rate from power plant pollution than other regions of Ohio, according to an analysis by Abt Associates for the Clean Air Task Force, using methods developed for and employed by the U.S. EPA. Given this, why would American Municipal Power choose Meigs County for its proposed 1,000 MW coal plant? Don't AMP officials owe the people of Meigs County an answer?
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